Make that two feet! Two froggy legs!
Make that two JAZZ HANDS!
Cannot believe how epic this transformation has been. Bouncy Billy (who until now was the ironically bounceless Rana sphenocephala of the pair we received way back in late winter 2010) just keeps amazing us.
Here’s Billy (who had been a frog for at least 14 months)…
I am forever thinking (and occasionally singing aloud) “who lives in a Pineapple peeking at me?” He likes to hide and just has one eye visible through the window. He’s much more aloof than his soon-to-be bouncy counterpart.
Long ago, pre-kid, we had a Betta fish named “Pants” who we adored and probably got more emotionally attached to than would be considered a normal adult reaction by anyone, but we did. Not quite as much as the furry pets of my youth, but yeah, when he died I cried cried cried until my eyes threatened to swell completely shut and the snot factory had run dry from dehydration. *sniff*
And now I have my very own human kid.
Every step of the way has been like one of those dreams where you step in concrete and it quickly sets around you and while you can still move every step is muscle tenderizingly arduous and sooo slow.
But respect and love for my kid has made me able to take those steps, and to take them with such joy that I occasionally bust out with a somewhat off-key yet somewhat operatic “Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” straight from my tippy toes to the top of my head. “Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” And yes. It often startles my sensory defensive little guy, but really, there is no other way for me to accurately describe this joy. It’s just “Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”
So to some folks in the outside world, our life may look too darkly serious and lacking in light and fun. To some folks it may look like we take things too seriously and overthink each and every step of the way. Don’t get me wrong, we definitely overthink everything. When you are raising a different needs kid, you really learn to pick your battles and causes and goals and to take baby steps with everything, little steps broken apart from gigantic and seemingly insurmountable goals, not as much to keep you motivated, but it is mostly due to the simple fact that correcting a little misstep can happen with a little more grace and less of a delay in moving forward than a big mistake. It’s the difference between repairing a pothole at 4am and closing two lanes of traffic during rush hour so you can repave the whole shebang.
So what does this have to do with frogs?
Something. I’m sure.
Oh. That caring for and watching our little mutant tadpole/tad frog/nearly a frog “froglet” has been one that has, in a very focused and microscopic way, paralleled raising a child who is different from his typically developing peers. It has also, surprisingly, offered up a parallel to my own journey in becoming the authentic me. The warts and all me, if you will. The me that isn’t dictated by internalized scripts of my upbringing, or internal monologues trying to make sense of what has gone wrong and my role in it or apart from it. Just me.
Jazz hands, laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!, and all…
UPDATE: As soon as I finished typing this, I went out to the kitchen and saw something amazing in our little vivarium. Bouncy Billy WALKING. Yup. Not swimming but walking along the bottom of the tank. Like a big frog!